10/12/2017 8:47PM

Hoosier: Can winning an Indiana Sire Stakes Final be ‘O So Easy’?

Linscott Photography
O So Easy has dominated her competition in Indiana.

If it was only ‘O So Easy’ the brilliant Indiana Sires Stakes juvenile filly would have arrived more than five years ago in a different form. Though the daughter of Swan For All has made it look easy taking nine of 11 starts in her first year at the racetrack, the fact that she’s here at all is somewhat miraculous.

O So Easy, the likely heavy favorite in Friday’s $220,000 Super Final at Hoosier Park, is the first foal of the Lindy Lane-sired mare Ostia Hanover.

“They (owner Warren Harp) tried to get her in foal for five straight years and couldn’t,” said Verlin Yoder, her part-owner, trainer and driver. “He tried to sell me the mare but I wasn’t interested. Eventually he sold her to a friend of mine for $5,000 and he got her in foal the next spring.”

Yoder trained his horses in the winter alongside Harp and was well aware of the mare’s history before he went to the sale last fall and purchased O So Easy for $20,000. “They had some trouble getting her to the races. But when she did, she won three straight races as a 4-year-old before getting involved in an accident,” said Yoder.

But getting to the races, while a problem for the mother, has not been nearly as difficult for Yoder with her offspring. “It took some time to get her settled,” said Yoder of O So Easy, “but I think we have it worked out.”

That seems to be the case given the string of victories in Sires Stakes action leading into Friday’s final. “You can race her from the back but I like to get her out in front she seems to like it too,” said Yoder.

Despite her impressive credentials, Yoder has been around too long to go into the event overconfident. “They are 2-year-old fillies,” Yoder said.

O So Easy hails from a solid maternal line that impressed the late Guy (Sonny) Antonacci.  Ostia Hanover’s dam Oh Viola was a solid stakes mare in the early 80’s and her younger brother Sir Taurus was a top New York Sire Stakes horse that had the misfortune to be born in the same crop as Mack Lobell yet acquitted himself quite well as a sophomore.

Yoder is more than happy that he’s finally been able to put aluminum shoes on the $1.1 million winner Natural Herbie. “He had a suspensory issue last year and I wasn’t able to go to aluminum shoes until about six weeks ago. Without aluminum’s he can’t go much faster than 1:54,” said Yoder. Since the change Natural Herbie has won three of his last four races at Hoosier and was a solid third behind Homicide Hunter and Hannelore Hanover in the Centaur on September 22. “They told me I should retire him,” said Yoder of Natural Herbie after his most recent injury. Going into Friday’s $50,000 (race 4) Indiana Sire Stakes aged event, Natural Herbie appears as strong as he’s ever been.

While Yoder appears to be more than happy with his chances for O So Easy and Natural Herbie on Friday night, he was a bit more apprehensive when the subject of Ideal Jesse rolled around. “He’s going to need a lot of racing luck,” Yoder said of the sophomore son of Jailhouse Jesse entered in the $220,000 Super Final carded as race six.

Ideal Jesse did draw post three but to date hasn’t shown the type of credentials it might take to pull off the upset.

Swan Chase, a winner in 12 of his 18 starts this year with $177,327 banked, enters the final riding a five-race winning streak for trainer William Crone and driver John De Long. Swan Chase drew post eight in the 10-horse field.

Bluebird Rambo is another son of Swan For All (sire of world champion Hannelore Hanover) that figures to be a solid contender in this final. Bluebird Rambo has won seven of his 18 starts this year and enters the final off a second-place finish behind Swan Chase on October 5 at Hoosier. Sam Widger will guide Bluebird Rambo from post seven.

Super Final night at Hoosier Park commences at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the eight divisional championships for the freshman and sophomore divisions of each gait, race nine will feature the first start for Hannelore Hanover following her 1:49 2/5 world record victory last week at The Red Mile.